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And then came cancer

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by ilovepoppies, Apr 29, 2017.

  1. Sundaytrekker

    Sundaytrekker Star commenter

    Best wishes to I love poppies and to Lara's husband. We have a family member in her 30s who has been through two rounds of treatment for cancer and is living with six monthly check ups now. Dreadful disease but treatment is ever improving.
  2. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Lead commenter

    Just seen this - hugs and good wishes to ilovepoppies and lara mfl. I hope you both have lots of love and support surrounding you and that things are moving in a positive direction xx
    drek, Dodros and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Indeed. Though from what I gather certain types seem to have better success rates, breast, prostrate and testicular cancer among them.
  4. Dodros

    Dodros Star commenter

    I feel for both I love poppies and Lara's husband. I too was the first in my family to be diagnosed with cancer. The diagnosis of prostate cancer was made in 2006 and it was a miracle that I received the diagnosis at all. My GP surgery was encouraging all men in their late fifties to participate in a project whose aim was to investigate whether surgery, radiotherapy or watchful waiting produced the best results in people found to have prostate cancer. The hospital appointments were held during the day and I was reluctant to ask for time off from school to attend, not least because I had no reason to to believe I had prostate cancer. So I didn't bother to go. Then, later, I received another letter offering appointments outside school hours, so I felt I had nothing to lose. A Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test was administered and my PSA level was found to be a litte higher than normal. Then came a biopsy of my prostate, which was more undignified than painful. I was by then beginning to feel more and more concerned, not least because I was going to America to spend August with my brother. I asked to be informed of the result by email, but was told that wouldn't be necessary. I told the consultant that the last thing I wanted was to return from the States to find bad news in a letter that had lain on my doormat for weeks. When I got home, the latter was there, asking me to get in touch with the hospital because I'd already missed an earlier appointment with the consultant. I immediately made an appointment with my GP, who calmly and sensitively gave me the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

    The diagnosis of cancer wasn't just a shock. It made me livid. I was angry at the doctors who hadn't acceded to my request to be informed by email. My brother's partner is a pathologist and could have briefed me about the disease during my holiday and explained the options. I was angry at myself because the medical profession often moralises about people bringing diseases upon themselves through poor diet and lack of exercise and I reasoned that my cancer was at least partly my fault for not leading a healthy enough lifestyle. I couldn't blame genetics at the time as my family had no history of cancer of any kind. Anyway, anger gave way to confusion as I discovered that my tumour could be addressed through any of the three treatments available. After long reflection and listening to people I trusted, I eventually opted for surgery and I've never regretted the decision, even though there have been side effects. My PSA level went down to a minimal but still detectable level. So after surgery I was given radiotherapy, which had no effect on the PSA level, which has crept up at a very low rate over the intervening ten years and a third intervention, hormone treatment, is in reserve if necessary. I am glad to be alive, thanks to the NHS, and being older and having a medium rather than severe (Gleason) level of tumour have contributed to my survival. I continue to be symptomless, but my PSA level is now checked yearly for life.

    What I have learnt is that there is life after a cancer diagnosis and that knowledge can be power. Listen to advice that you trust and ignore anything that is likely to lower the will to live. Be good to yourself and enjoy your favourite things in life. If there's a patients' group for your type of cancer, join it. The members of my group were very much alive after receiving their diagnosis many years previously and they clearly enjoyed life more now that they were valuing living it one day, one month and one year at a time. If you have a cancer diagnosis, you are not a patient 24 hours a day. You are a person with cancer and the disease shouldn't strip you of your humanity. And remain aware of what is happening all around you. Since my diagnosis, several of my male acquaintances have received the diagnosis about themselves, including another member of my family. All of them have been lifelong joggers and healthy eaters, so I'm sure there's a randomness about it all, not some moral judgement about competing priorities in life.
    Last edited: May 20, 2017
  5. dominant_tonic

    dominant_tonic Established commenter

    No advice or experience but I just wanted to add to the voice of support and general messages of hugs and love. Xxxxx
  6. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    Best wishes ILP.xxx
    My friend is 2 years clear of cancer and is having breast reconstruction surgery this very day.
  7. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Such an encouragement mary.

    There was a famous news broadcaster on South Today Sally Taylor, who documented her treatment on teh programme to take the fear out for other women and that was over 18 years ago. She's still on the programme today. There was also Lynn Faulds Wood, who had bowel cancer and I'm sure many others to prove it is possible to survive.
    rosievoice likes this.
  8. Alceanne

    Alceanne Occasional commenter

    Best wishes to ILP and to Lara's husband. Stay positive...
    Lara mfl 05 and (deleted member) like this.
  9. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    So Iife is a funny old thing...

    Felt under the weather and went to drs on Friday. Tests arranged for monday but felt unwell and went straight to hospital. Diagnosed with acute myloid leukemia. On oral chemo by the end of the day and full very aggressive chemo started yesterday.

    Poppies and I are planning a bad wig competition.

    If I miss series 5 Line of Duty I'll be gutted. Xx
  10. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    GLsghost! Shock doesn't even come close!

    Wish I could just make it all go away, ut of course life isn't like that.:(

    Trying yo be upbeat. Are you going to go for wild colour changes with those wigs? Someone I know has this colour. [​IMG] But this could be fun. [​IMG]
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  11. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Dont know yet and not well enough to give it serious thought. All ideas gratefully deceived.

    You'll know where I am lara. I have a room with a view and can wave from the top of the hill at you!
  12. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    Heavens @GLsghost what a shock! Sending good vibes and very best wishes.
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  13. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Oh GL I am so very sorry. I don't know what words to offer, except I hope you get through the chemo without too many side effects and that you have a good support network around you.

    Love and hugs ((( @GLsghost ))) xxx

    P.S. Send my love to Poppies too.
    guinnesspuss and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  14. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    Wow - life has a habit of throwing curved balls when we least expect them.
    So sorry @GLsghost
    Thinking of you x
    guinnesspuss and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  15. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    How long are you in for GL? Only because I could come and visit whilst husband is having his treatment. Monday will be choc-a-block with ferries but Tues onward ?
    guinnesspuss likes this.
  16. frangipani123

    frangipani123 Lead commenter

    That not's right, it just isn't. So sorry to read this but I know you're someone who goes full pelt at life so watch out leukemia.

    And I'm looking forward to having in depth discussions, frame by frame of the next series of Line of Duty.
    guinnesspuss and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  17. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    Here for months lara but in very strict sterile conditions. Visitors restricted and in a room with a sterile airlock. It's like something out of quatermass!

    Hope your husband gets on ok. Strange circumstances that you'll be just down the corridor!

    Bone marrow transplant around Christmas. I have tickets for the boxing day and new year Ashes Tests. How fair is that?!
  18. marlin

    marlin Star commenter

    Oh my gosh GL :eek: Have you got plenty to keep you occupied, or are you not really up to doing anything at the moment?
  19. marymoocow

    marymoocow Star commenter

    (((GL))) Have no words. I just know you will tackle this like all the other fights you have had recently. Take care xxx
  20. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    So sorry to read this GL. You are in my thoughts.

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